I woke at 6:30 with a migraine. Sometimes epiphanies come with headaches. I couldn’t open my eyes, but shortly after, Little J, on instinct(?) crawled into our bed, wedging between Dennis and me.

As his little arms wrapped around me, his hands softly petting my shoulders, the pain didn’t budge, but all of my focus went to the little pads of his fingers, their potent tenderness.

Dennis scooched in and wrapped a strong arm over both us. Then Virgil settled into the top of the pile. Nothing moved but our breathing bodies and J’s gentle pets on my arm.

I learned how early it was when I asked for some coffee and Excedrin a bit later. Dennis obliged and also called Kim who was able to move my Avastin appointment to eleven. The dears.

My headache was gone by the time the boys snuggled back in after breakfast, waiting for the daily Virgil story. With an icepack to the noggin for good measure, I whisked us away to the land where that cat gets up to crazy adventures. Soon after, we were all starting our days feeling fine.

I say it time and again, but it’s true. Without the love of this family, I would be dust. Their hearts and the love of my dear friends, my mom, dad, and brother, is what keeps me going. We have survived hell time and again. And I’m not even talking about the cancer. I mean the likes of which make this disease seem feeble.

But we choose love, because that’s where life is.

If you are bitter and complaining because you feel like you don’t have enough, or others aren’t giving you enough, steer clear of me. If you lash out at people around you because you feel victimized or stressed by something you brought on yourself, steer clear of me. If you choose to see what’s wrong with every day when you have sweet little fingers reaching for you, needing you to be happy, steer clear of me. If you walk around with a scowl on your face, my door is not open to you.

This is new for me. My heart is open to all, but my physical space is open to people who put positive energy into the world, who feel what’s good and celebrate it. This is a new boundary for me and it gets enforced. Starting now.

Here’s to more moments in the garden with friends, more laughter, and yes sorrow, because that’s life. But always a willingness to see the good. I can feel those tiny fingers on my shoulders now, as the Avastin goes in and the space around me has more place to breathe.



  1. lyndal’s avatar

    I love this post! I agree wholeheartedly with your philosophy. It’s so well communicated with the language you chose and that’s why I’m such a fan of your writing, and of you. : )

  2. Debbie’s avatar

    Good for you!!!!
    Life is to short!!!
    With all the crap going down in the world today everyone needs to take the time and be thankful for everything they have.

  3. jan’s avatar

    SMILE….a big one.

  4. Diana Gazdik’s avatar

    Jenn, you a a great inspiration to me. I read every one of your posts and they often bring me to tears, sometimes sad ones and sometimes happy ones. This one brought happy ones. XO

    Diana Gazdik (friend of Dennis’)

  5. Bobbie’s avatar

    Jenn, I totally hear you! I love that you are taking a firm stand on giving out positive energy and only accepting light and goodness to come back to you & to enter your own home. That’s why D & J give you so much strength too, because they are in a home full of love & good vibes!!!

    Be well, Jenn!

  6. Amy’s avatar

    I love this post so much. You are an extraordinary person (and writer).

  7. Heather’s avatar

    Hi Jenn, I’m another mom with ovarian cancer and young boys, mine are 7 and 5.5. You are such a phenomenal writer and mom. I particularly love this post and applaud you for standing so strong.

  8. Chelsea’s avatar

    Thank you for the reminder to appreciate all the sweet mOments.


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